Trae Young never played against Kobe Bryant. Never crossed paths with him in the NBA. Wasn’t even born when Bryant entered the league. Nonetheless, the tragic deaths of Bryant and daughter Gianna affected the Atlanta Hawks’ second-year guard emotionally.
During warmups prior to Sunday’s game against the Washington Wizards, Young sought out his mom and embraced her, his head down on her shoulder for at least 20 seconds.
With the game about to start around five and a half hours after Bryant’s death, Young stripped off his warmup jacket to reveal one of many tributes to Bryant: a No. 8 jersey, specially created for the occasion on short notice, changed from his usual No. 11.
Trae Young takes off his warm-ups to reveal he will be wearing number 8 tonight in honor of Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/Ig0EZXmIdK— ClutchPoints NBA (@ClutchPointsNBA) January 26, 2020
The Hawks and Wizards then engineered a tribute that became common around the NBA on Sunday. Young and Atlanta took an eight-second backcourt violation to start the game. Washington reciprocated with a 24-second shot clock violation. Each was an homage to Bryant’s two jersey numbers.
Trae Young wore #8 just for this. 8 second violation by #Hawks then 24 second violation by #Wizards. All the players hugging each other playing homage to the renaissance man of basketball. #KobeBryant @11AliveSports #11Alive pic.twitter.com/mrPup85KhR— Maria Martin (@Ria_Martin) January 26, 2020
...This S*** can’t be real... this the first moment I was able to meet Gianna Maria, she’s been to only 3 games this year... 2 of them were mine... She told me I was her favorite player to watch🙏🏽 I can’t believe this😢😭— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) January 26, 2020
Rest Easy Gigi❤️ pic.twitter.com/IfDrE9Gjlv
“All the lessons. All the advice. Every word you ever told me... Will stick with me forever,” Young tweeted shortly after news of Bryant’s death broke.
“Thank you Kobe.”
All the Lessons— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) January 26, 2020
All the Advice
Every word you ever told me...
Will stick with me forever
Thank You Kobe🙏🏽❤️ pic.twitter.com/WPCdHg3iyt
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